Lifestyle

Superfoods That Are Easily Available In Your Market

There has been quite a hype around superfoods such as acai berries, goji berries, chia seeds, and blueberries.

However, did you know that what you can find in everyday supermarket are superfoods as well?

First of all, let’s define what superfood is.

According to health.com

su·per·food
ˈso͞opərˌfo͞od/
noun
Though there is no legal or medical definition, superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them may reduce the risk of chronic disease, and prolong life, and people who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don’t.

So next time you are at a local supermarket, try picking up some extra of the below for your health benefit.

1.  Olives

We give so much credit to the olive oil, that we need to give these olives some attention.  Olives are too bitter to eat when ripen off a tree, so most are processed, given different flavors and textures depending on to the area.

Benefits:  Much of the Mediterranean dishes are served with olives.  Several laboratory studies have confirmed that the Mediterranean people have an increase deposit of calcium in their bones and decreased loss of total bone mass.  Meaning that people that eat olives regularly, which are full of phytonutrient, have decreased risk of osteoporosis.

Olives contain high mono-unsaturated fat which has been associated with decrease in blood cholesterol and blood pressure, thus decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Olives also contain anti-inflammatory benefits.  They also contain hydroxytyrosol, which has been associated with cancer prevention.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the world’s known oldest spices.  At times in history, cinnamon more valuable than gold that it was also used as currency.

Benefits:  For people with Type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that cinnamon has helped lower blood sugar.

Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants specifically the polyphenal antioxidants, which lowers the risks of diseases.

Cinnamon helps fight infections, repairing damaged tissues as well.  Lower blood pressures, lower cholesterol, and may cut risks of heart disease.

Caution:  Do not ingest more than four tablespoons or 60 ml of cinnamon oil.

3. Tumeric

If you are anemic or iron deficient, tumeric is a great source, especially for women.  Found in Indian curry spices, this stuff is pretty powerful.  It resembles a ginger foot, but the inside is orange.  Tumeric’s plant is called Curcuma longa, also known as the “Indian saffron.”

Tumeric has been used in Chinese and Indian medicine for anti-inflammatory purposes as well as treating toothache, bruises, chest pain, and hemorrhage.

4.  Seaweed

You’re probably most familiar with seaweed from sushi, that black dry sheet wrapped around rice.  Instead of a burrito, try for a quick sushi roll to layer some cooked brown rice along with vegetables.  You can most likely find dried seaweed in the Asian section.

Benefits:  Seaweed that grows in the ocean are packed with omega-3 fatty acids.  These are known to prevent heart attack and strokes.  Seaweeds are infused with natural nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, iodine, and zinc.

Japanese cuisine frequently uses seaweed in salads and soups.  You can just cut with scissors into skinny sliver pieces to sprinkle on top.

Beyond seaweed sheets, there are variety of other forms of seaweed such as seaweed salad, which is not dried.  There’s also hijiki, wakame and kombu.

5. Edamame beans

Edamame is one of my absolute favorite, as you can simply just boil it and sprinkle with salt like they serve at Japanese restaurant for appetizers.

Edamame is a powerhouse full of nutrition, with an overall of 6%+ of average intake of all nutrients, minus the Vitamin D.  On top of that, it’s fully packed with fiber, protein magnesium, phosphorus, and Vitamin K of up to 20% of daily intake.  One cup of edamame beans have an amazing 22 grams of plant protein as well with fiber and cholesterol reducing phytosterols.

Edamame beans definitely reduce the risk of heart diseases.

You can sprinkle boiled edamames on top of salad or in serve in soups, but mainly just for appetizers with some salt just taste so fine!

6.  Black beans

Proteins are hard to come by for vegetarians, so the combination of black beans and brown rice combined are a great choice for vegetarians.

Benefits:  Black beans provide a numerous amount of benefits for your health.  Black beans prevent cardiovasuclar disease, reduce risks of certain types of cancer, aid in digestive health, regulate blood sugars, and beneficial for various nervous systems.  Black beans contain soluble fiber, which has been proven to lower cholesterol, assisting in preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Black beans are high in protein and fiber, assisting food move through the digestive system.  Beans digest slower than meat, leaving you fuller for a longer period of time.  Black beans are generally smaller than other beans, making it easier to digest.

7. Avocado

Avocado is a low carb vegetable that also includes protein and fiber.

Benefits: Avocado contain variety of vitamins such as Vitamin C, K B5, B6, and E.  Avocado even has more potassium than bananas do.  High levels of potassium reduces blood pressure, decreases risk of heart and kidney failure.

Majority of the fat in avocado is called oleic acid, which also is found in olive oil.  Oleic acis is known to have anti-inflammatory.  Avocado oil is tolerant against heat, therefore avocado oil is healthy to use for cooking

8. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are easily accessible in stores, inexpensive and are full of great nutrients.  A large baked sweet potato will give you 450% of your daily dose of Vitamin A.  Sweet potatoes also have high content in Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C.  Other minerals in sweet potatoes are magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

9.  Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms can be a great source if you are trying to lose weight.  A serving or 4 raw shiitake mushrooms contains only 26 calories, 2 g of fiber, 2g of protein, and less than a gram of fat.  The fiber will help you feel full.  Also, these mushrooms have a Vitamin B complex that helps metabolism by converting digested food into energy.

The dried shiitake mushrooms contain slightly more calories at 40 calories and lower in protein and fiber.  So finding the raw ones are more beneficial.

Shiitake mushrooms do not have much of a flavor, so adding them to stir fry, soups, and salad could be a delicious option.

10. Almonds

Almonds contain so much nutrients such as fiber, protein, monounsaturated fat, Vitamin E, and magnesium.  Eating 1.5 oz of nuts regularly reduces the risk of heart disease.

Powerful antioxidants are located on the brown skin of almonds, so don’t go buying the white skinless almonds!

Almonds are great for hunger control.  Packed with protein and fiber, almonds help you feeling full after a handful.

I usually have a jar of almonds right next to my fridge, just because when working from home, I find myself staring directly at the fridge door ajar many times.  “Oh! There’s my healthy almonds.”  No guilt, I easily close my fridge door, still wandering how I ended up there.

 

Photo Source: funintofit.com

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